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New Orleans Schools Make 8 Months’ Reading Gains in 30 Days with Carnegie Learning

Carnegie Learning, a leader in artificial intelligence for K-12 education and formative assessment, announced that K-8 English Learner (EL) students at Community Academies of New Orleans achieved historic reading gains using Carnegie Learning’s Fast ForWord language and reading program.

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“Teacher feedback has confirmed that Fast ForWord works. They like it, and the kids enjoy it.”

According to Sharon Betz, Director of English Learner Programs for Community Academies in New Orleans, her schools needed a fast solution to address English language learning and foundational literacy skills. Her district’s EL students—many of whom are new to the U.S. from Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and other Central American countries—needed more than the textbooks, flashcards, and worksheets the district had been using.

Fast ForWord uniquely targets reading skills such as phonemic awareness, vocabulary, and comprehension, while also building cognitive skills that are core to reading and language, such as memory, processing, and sequencing.

“I was drawn to Fast ForWord because it’s evidence-based,” says Betz. “I was able to tell teachers, ‘There’s a lot of research behind it and a lot of data that says it works. It’s got the Department of Education’s seal of approval.’”

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Betz reports, “Teacher feedback has confirmed that Fast ForWord works. They like it, and the kids enjoy it.”

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Students at Community Academies made an average of eight months’ reading gains in just 30 days of using Fast ForWord. In fact, almost one-third of students made 1.5 years’ gains in that same time.

Along with Fast ForWord’s primary goal of building lasting literacy, the program also reinforces the reading and listening skills that most state assessments seek to measure.

“We are here to support teachers and expedite positive outcomes for students,” said Carnegie Learning CEO Barry Malkin. “With Fast ForWord, students achieve reading gains that last a lifetime. To see such positive results so quickly is remarkable and speaks to the caliber of leadership in the district. We are thrilled to play a role in their educational journey.”

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